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Thread: Sneezing Snake

  1. #1
    Snake Charmer mustang's Avatar
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    Sneezing Snake

    hey i caughyt a big checker garter snake and gave it to my friend "bronco", the snake is now weexing and sneezes(or coughs not sure which) whats wrong how do ni fix problem without vet
    ROBERT The Reptilian Teen

    "growing old is mandatory

    growing up is optional "

  2. #2
    Ophiuchus rhea drache's Avatar
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    Re: Sneezing Snake

    Robert
    it sounds like that snake has an upper respiratory infection and there may not be a way around going to the vet
    you can try raising the cage temp by a few degrees (what's it at now?), and in a mild case that may knock it out, but if that doesn't do it, you will need a vet to prescribe antibiotics
    rhea
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    T. radix Ranch guidofatherof5's Avatar
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    Re: Sneezing Snake

    Sound advice, Rhea.
    Steve
    5 awesome kids!
    Emmy, Kale, Molly, Gabby, Hailee
    They are not just snakes. They're garter snakes.
    http://www.youtube.com/user/thamnophis14?feature=mhee

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    Moderator adamanteus's Avatar
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    Re: Sneezing Snake

    Indeed. Elevated temperatures can help, but often a vet visit is the best course of action with respiratory infection.
    James.

  5. #5
    Juvenile snake DrKate's Avatar
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    Re: Sneezing Snake

    Quote Originally Posted by mustang View Post
    how do ni fix problem without vet
    Robert, I'm not trying to be mean to you specifically, but I just do NOT get why someone would take in an animal with the specific intention of not getting it proper medical care. (Or perhaps more appropriately in this situation, why someone would allow their child to take in an animal without making sure they understand the necessity and cost of medical care.) If you can't afford the vet, you shouldn't have the pet.

    /soapbox. Sorry. That said...

    If it's a fairly tractable snake and you know how to hold it safely and securely behind the head, you could try gently prying the mouth open (a thin rubber spatula works well for this, you want something that won't knock its teeth out) and make sure there's nothing foreign obviously stuck in there. Watch him breathe and see if the glottis (the tube on the bottom of his mouth) opens with each breath and seems clear. If there's a lot of mucus or a bad smell, or any kind of lumpy growth, you should get a vet to treat it.

    Yes, giving a warmer maximum temperature (don't eliminate the cool area completely!) allows the snake to choose to "run a fever" which can indeed help the animal eliminate some infections on its own. But please don't let the animal get substantially worse before you either kill it (humanely) or take it to a vet. Being unable to breathe is pretty unpleasant.

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    Re: Sneezing Snake

    ask bronco what kind of substrate he is using

  7. #7
    Juvenile snake DrKate's Avatar
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    Re: Sneezing Snake

    Looks like it's too late to edit. Robert, I just wanted to add this:

    I realize there may be a zillion other reasons you want to solve this problem without going to a vet that have nothing to do with whether you or your (or your friend's) parents are responsible pet owners. Clearly you're very enthusiastic about your reptiles and I'm sure you want to care for them as well as you can. Maybe there just isn't a herp vet in your area. If that's the case, you might want to find out who the nearest herp vet actually is, and ask if you could consult with them on the phone when you have problems like this. The herp specialists at the Texas A&M vet school may do phone consultations, since Texas is a big state with a lot of rural area. (You may even be geographically closer to another state's vet school - Kansas, Oklahoma, Louisiana - and could call them instead.)

    The bottom line from my point of view is, if you keep a collection of reptiles, especially wild-caught ones, you're going to run into disease problems and you really should have some way of getting qualified medical help or advice when you need it. Good luck with this guy, I hope he pulls through for you.
    Last edited by DrKate; 07-11-2009 at 01:34 PM. Reason: typo

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    Moderator adamanteus's Avatar
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    Re: Sneezing Snake

    While Kate makes a good point about ensuring you are able to afford vet fees before keeping a pet, I think this is the wrong place to discuss it.
    In fairness there are tens of thousands, possibly hundreds of thousands of pet keepers out there who couldn't afford vet fees.
    A huge percentage of 'exotics' keepers are young people with no significant income. Whether or not less well off people should be permitted to keep animals is a subject for debate, but perhaps not here.
    Here we have a fellow forum member and reptile enthusiast seeking our help with a health problem. Let's offer whatever advise and support we can, and leave the discussion of moral principles for another time and another thread.
    Last edited by adamanteus; 07-11-2009 at 05:33 PM.
    James.

  9. #9
    Juvenile snake DrKate's Avatar
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    Re: Sneezing Snake

    I know, I know... I did try to follow up with helpful advice, including how to get a veterinarian to talk to him for free!

    Robert, one other thought - if this *does* turn out to be a problem of the mucusy needs-antibiotics variety, and the snake is heading downhill despite raising its temperature, you might see if you've got any kind of wildlife rehab organizations in your area that could help. You might have to turn the snake over to them as if you'd found it that way, so you'd want to make sure you fully investigate other possibilities like foreign objects or poor substrate like George mentioned.

  10. #10
    Snake Charmer mustang's Avatar
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    Re: Sneezing Snake

    ok thank you all so much...the reason i took the snake was becausew i found it under my house and it looked old cause it is over 1.5 ft. im geussing around 2ft...and my friend wanted it and hes had reptiles before.but the next day when i approached his parents his mom blew up when i said vetrinarian and said she would let it go because she believes animals shouldnt be in cages (even though she has an aquarium of fish 3+ cats and a dog ) now he is doing better but if he dosnt me and bronco will sneak it out of the house and give it to my other friend (who can give it vetrinarian services) i didnt know his mom would be like that, since she caught and brought in a hognose snake. but its doing better now and theyre getting a bigger cage... ill make it cat proof! ill keep u posted...o im still looking for the little one i found next to the big one (it got away) and it looked like the same size as my snake... wher should i look for it?
    ROBERT The Reptilian Teen

    "growing old is mandatory

    growing up is optional "

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